Grit, determination and resilience were all there last week as York City finally outmuscled Fleetwood Town for the first time in six attempts. Now attention switches to Cheltenham Town, who have never lost at Bootham Crescent but show a dismal return of just two points from their last fifteen available. Even so it should be remembered that the Robins made the play-offs last season, when Keith Lowe and Russell Penn – both of whom are scheduled to line-up against them this time around – featured a combined 88 times. Lowe has already noticeably strengthened York at the back and Penn is clearly equally capable of similar leadership in the middle of the pitch – to such an extent that he was awarded the captaincy last week. Both clubs currently reside in mid-table on the same number of points, although the visitors still have a couple of games in hand. However, with only ten points currently separating Newport County (8th) and Torquay United (23rd), those positions can swiftly change as clubs continue to jostle for vital rewards.
“Last week the performance was excellent and the result was outstanding, so now we’re just looking for that consistency,” manager Nigel Worthington told BBC Radio York. “We’re getting close to what you’d call the run in now, so it’s good to have so many players available. It’s important to be able to mix things up at this stage. We’ve had them watched several times, so we know what they’re about and we know what we need to do.”
York City Team News:
Midfielder Lewis Montrose returns from a two-match ban but defender David McGurk [back] and striker Ryan Jarvis [ankle] remain doubtful. Daniel Parslow is already out long-term while Keith Lowe and Russell Penn should both line-up against their former club. Michael Coulson continues to push hard for a recall having set-up the winner last week.
York City (probable): Pope, Oyebanjo, Lowe, McCombe, Davies, Carson, Penn, Reed, Hayhurst, Bowman, Fletcher
subs (from): Allan, Platt, McDonald, Coulson, Montrose, Dickinson, Puri, Ingham
Lewis Montrose returns from suspension
Player to watch: Russell Penn
Big game against his former club for the new skipper after appearing 51 times for them last season on their way to the play-offs.
Russell Penn leads the charge against his former club
Cheltenham Town Team News:
On loan midfielder David Noble is ruled out with a hamstring problem while Kemar Roofe has returned to parent club West Bromwich Albion. Fellow loanee Lee Lucas should continue.
Cheltenham Town (probable): S. Brown, Jombati, T. Brown, Ihiekwe, Braham-Barrett, Lucas, Deering, Richards, McGlashan, Harrison, Cureton
David Noble misses out for the visitors
Player to watch: Jamie Cureton
The veteran 38-year-old has scored seven times this season and proved one of the best strikers in the lower divisions during his career.
Veteran Jamie Cureton has always scored goals
Match Facts & Stats
Cheltenham have a superb record at Bootham Crescent while winning four and drawing one of their five previous visits. That solitary draw was the latest affair when the two clubs remained scoreless in September 2012. Team: Ingham, Oyebanjo, C. Smith (Bullock), Doig, Fyfield, Parslow, J. Smith (McReady) (Blair), McLaughlin, Coulson, Walker, Chambers
D. Handley (Lancashire)
York – Plymouth (A); Cheltenham – Bristol Rovers (A)
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